Cowley Cools Seward in Region 6 Title Game
KSCB News - March 4, 2016 6:23 am
The Seward County Lady Saints went into the Region VI Championship game on Thursday night in Hartman Arena as hot as they could possibly be. Seward was winners of nine straight including solid victories over rivals Butler and #12 Hutchinson the two days prior. All of that momentum came to a screeching halt early on Thursday on the biggest stage of all as one win from the NJCAA National Tournament, the Lady Saints shot just 20% in the first quarter to fall behind the Cowley Tigers early and led the game for just 43 seconds as Cowley held them in check all night in a 67-57 final to send the Tigers to the Big Dance while likely ending the Lady Saints season.
Cowley came out of the gates doing what they do best, shooting the three. The Tigers hit a triple just 32 seconds into action and it would prove to be a sign of things to come on this night. Seward struggled on offense throughout the first quarter, scoring just four points in the first 8:36 of the period, finally getting a little something going in the final minute to cut the Tiger lead to 13-7 after one.
The Lady Saints managed to shoot just 20% in the quarter and were 0-7 from three point land while Cowley wasn’t much better, shooting 39% overall, but the Tigers did hit 3 of 8 three point attempts to get out to the six point lead.
Seward was finally able to find some room on the inside in the second quarter, getting the ball to Joanna Grymek in the paint to tie the game at 13 with 7:24 to go in the period. Cowley scored the next seven though to go up by seven and remained in front for the rest of the quarter until Daniela Galindo connected on a three from the corner with 4 seconds left in the half to give Seward their first lead of the game at 28-27 into the break.
The Lady Saints shot 53% in the second quarter to finish the half at 38% overall while Cowley made 42% from the field to end the half at 40%. Galindo led Seward with 13 first half points while Grymek had 8, no other Lady Saint had more than 3 in the half.
The Tigers began the second half just as they did the first, with a Devon Branch three to put Cowley back in front and the Tigers went on to score the first eight points of the third quarter to once again hold a seven point lead on the Lady Saints. Seward didn’t get their first points of the quarter until 4:40 in and it wasn’t until the 3:13 mark that a Lady Saint starter scored as Cowley opened their lead to nine after three quarters of action.
Cowley outscored Seward 19-9 in the third quarter as again the Lady Saints managed to shoot just 23% and find 3 field goals in the period while Cowley hit 58% from the floor and 4 of 6 threes.
For the third time in four quarters, the Tigers again got the first points of the period in the fourth, extending their lead to its biggest of the night at 48-37. Seward scored the next five to make it a six point game with just under eight minutes to go and made it a five point game on a finish inside from Axelle Bernard at the midway point of the quarter. A bucket on the inside from Grymek got Seward to within three and after Cowley answered, a three from Tiani White made it a two point game at 55-53 with 2:51 to go. Cowley hit a three on their next trip down the possession and the Lady Saints wouldn’t get any closer from there on. Seward turned it over three times and missed a layup in the final two minutes as Cowley piled onto their lead before finally finishing the Lady Saints off 67-57 to claim the Region VI Championship.
The Lady Saints finally got something going with 20 points on 47% shooting in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t slow down the Tigers when they needed to as Cowley shot 50% to finish the second half at 54% shooting. Seward shot just 37% in the game and connected on just 5 of 20 from the three point line while Cowley shot 47% and hit 10 of 24 from downtown. In her final game with the Lady Saints, Galindo scored a game high 15 points while Bernard had 12 and Grymek had 10.
Seward’s year likely comes to an end at 25-8, while they will apply for a long shot at-large bid to the NJCAA National Tournament for the second straight year. Cowley advances to their first NJCAA National Tournament since the 1989 season.
#24 SEWARD COUNTY/COWLEY BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wbkb/2015-16/boxscores/20160303_jdlj.xml?view=boxscore>